International Women's Day 2020: interview with Sophie Robinson
Question 1) Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your name and your business?
I’m Sophie Robinson and I’m an interior designer and broadcaster. I left university in the late 1990’s and got my first job on an interiors magazine in 2000. I went freelance in 2005 and have since worked as a stylist across all the top interiors magazines. I was Head Judge on BBC Two’s The Great Interior Design Challenge from 2014-2017 and regularly help the DIYSOS team with interior design for the Bafta award winning TV show on BBC ONE. I now host a podcast The Great Indoors (Annie appeared on Episode 1 of the current series!) and run my popular blog and Instagram account @sophierobinsoninteriors. I publish online courses and host workshops to help people understand how to decorate their homes with lashings of colour!
Question 2) How did you come to create this business?
My career has been very organic and going freelance in 2005 was the best decision. It’s allowed me to grab opportunities and grow my business in a way that suits me and now suits my life as a working mother. My son was born in 2011 and I stepped back from my career for a couple of years while he was very small. Filming TV was a strain as it meant being away from home through the summer, so I’m glad it was for just three years. I now work from home and manage my business around the school day. I use social media now to share my love of design and market my courses and workshops, as well as work with brands spreading my love of colour and interior design. No two days are ever the same!
Question 3) What inspirational people have you looked to throughout your career?
My industry is wildly supportive and I’ve found everyone to be hugely helpful on my way to success - especially the community on social media. My fellow colleagues inspire me in business, holding positions of influence and change in this ever-changing digital media. Kate Watson-Smyth, my podcast co-host is an exceptional interiors author, having just published her third book in as many years. I get such a buzz working with her. I admire all the female magazine editors who I have worked for over my career who have created great content for their readers and now I find myself admiring women like Zoe Ball and Claudia Winkleman, who are showing us that women over 45 can still have a dazzling career in the media spotlight!
Question 4) What was the single proudest moment you've had in business?
I was completely blown away to be invited to be the judge on The Great Interior Design Challenge. It felt such a huge privilege to pass judgement on the contestants’ talent and hard work. I’m thrilled to be part of BBC Two’s new follow-on show Interior Design Masters, which continues the great work of bringing interior design to the masses and showing people that (almost) anyone can do it!
Question 5) What advice do you have to anyone starting out?
You’ve got to love it! If you can discover your passion in life and run with it then you’ll have a better chance of enjoying every day. We spend most of our life at work so better make it fun and if you are pursuing something you care about you are more likely to succeed as you’ll put the energy required into it. And don’t be afraid to quit if it’s not working out and take chances too!
Question 6) And finally if you were a Chalk Paint colour, what colour would you be and why?